Thursday, June 20, 2024

Department Of Agriculture: Allowing NFA To Buy, Sell Rice Will Stabilize Prices

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Department Of Agriculture: Allowing NFA To Buy, Sell Rice Will Stabilize Prices

1653

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Saturday reiterated the move to re-allow the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy rice and sell it cheaper would stabilize cost when its retail price is too high.

At the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City, DA Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Arnel de Mesa said the proposed amendment in the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) is a much-needed intervention if the Philippines will not resort to drastic measures, such as price caps.

“We don’t want iyong mga ganitong measures kasi iyong price cap, maganda iyon sa simula pero in the long term, mayroon iyong negative economic impacts sa ating bansa (We don’t want those kind of measures because price cap can be good in the beginning but it could have negative economic impacts to our country in the long term),” he said.

“So, kung magkakaroon ng opportunity ang NFA to intervene, mabilis iyong epekto (If the NFA will be given an opportunity to intervene, the effect will be faster),’” he added.

De Mesa said the rice NFA would be selling is of good quality and “relatively priced lower” than the prevailing market price for well-milled, which is between PHP48 to PHP53.

“Kasi noong una kasi, nakakapag-provide siya ng PHP27. But we are not expecting naman iyong ganoong presyuhan but we are expecting na relatively lower iyong presyo ng NFA (Back then, we can provide at PHP27. But we are not expecting that low of a price, we expect it to be relatively lower than the NFA) prevailing market price,” he said.

“Kapag naipasa itong amyenda sa RTL, puwede nang mag-intervene at magdala mismo sa retail outlets ang NFA (Once the RTL amendment has been approved, the NFA could intervene and sell rice directly to retail outlets),” he added.

Under the law, the NFA’s mandate is limited to ensuring buffer stocks for disasters and is only allowed to purchase two types of produce from local farmers — fresh palay ranging from PHP19 to PHP23; and the clean and dry that sells between PHP23 and PHP30.

“So, kung makakapamili iyong NFA ng bigas mismo, mababawasan iyong gastusin ni NFA sa pag-dry, sa pag-mill at kapag bigas na iyan, mas madaling i-maintain at mas madaling i-dispose (If the NFA can also buy rice, that would lessen the NFA’s expenses in drying and milling, it will be easier also to maintain and dispose of),” De Mesa said.

He assured farmers that this would only apply in cases when the country is having issues with the supply or pricing.

“Ang normal function pa rin ng NFA is to buy palay from our farmers (The normal function of the NFA is still to buy palay from our farmers),” he said. (PNA)